On Thurs 7 Aug 08 @9PM I had a deeply moving and spiritual experience when I lit candles and deeyas for Tibet. This was in unison with everyone in my time zone and done globally. I'd like to explore this and share my experiences with you and hear yours as we participate in universal collective prayer events together. I hope to work together with all the universe's beings as we move toward the ideal of Universal Collective Prayer.

Come join me in Universal Collective Prayer!

May God Bless Us All!

UCP-Universal Collective Prayer is produced by Meady's Musings Production . Copyright 2006-2011

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gita Jayanthi, Eid-Ul-Adah, My Little Ones- Can There Ever Truly Be Universal Collective Prayer?

Can there ever truly be Universal Collective Prayer? Can I really keep my intent to 'Walk in the Shoes of Others Very Different to Me?' Today I learnt since I really don't myself celebrate either that there is the Hindu festival of Gita Jayanthi on one hand and the Islamic festival of Eid-Ul-Adah on the other. For those of you taking part in Universal Collective Prayer with me but do not know much bout either one I will repeat two summaries of the festival descriptions from some other websites.

But before I do so let me mention what I mean by "My Little Ones"...it's quite simple really...I consider other non-human creatures in the Universe to be my brothers too and I don't believe they like to be eaten and should not be eaten by humans simply cause we can do differently. I can't expect a lion to be a vegetarian but to me it seems humans can be and even vegan and food rawist vegans too! I like that I'm not a lion and so I can feel comfy amongst all my brothers...other than the ones who would eat me too I guess! If anyone has seen the film Madagascar think how sad it was for the lion in that film when he realized by nature he wanted to eat his friend the zebra! And if a film can be a lesson look how well that little ole lion did! Anyway back to it before I lose credibility...talking animals and cartoons today...Santa Claus yesterday hmmm...?

But seriously I think too my understanding of how I feel about animals and eating them or not doing so actually is very Hindu centric. So really I'm not loony just more Hinduey a girl in Universal Collective Prayer than a follower of Islam in it...but I want to walk in those shoes...I also want that one day all of the universe can sit and engage in Universal Collective Prayer. So I continue to ask...also as I ask I am mindful that however limited the reach of this blog may or may not be (cause really anyone or thing can be found on the globe today!) there is enough religious tension on the earth today and I vow not to add to it. This blog was created to put forward positive healing cohesive prayer not divisive or disruptive thoughts...so I have to dig deep especially give the recent tensions in Mumbai as I don't want to encourage any inter-religious tensions...

So here is the little summary of each festival. First up the description of Eid-Ul-Adah as outlined on the BBC's website:
'The Hajj ending in Eid-ul-Adha - 11th - 14th December 2008

Eid-ul-Adha ('Celebration of Sacrifice'), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). It takes place on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Although only pilgrims to Makkah can celebrate it fully, Muslims elsewhere also mark the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

Pilgrims on Hajj in Mecca The Hajj is the Fifth Pillar of Islam and therefore a very important part of the Islamic faith. All physically fit Muslims who can afford it should make the visit to Makkah, in Saudi Arabia, at least once in their lives. Every year around 2 million Muslims converge on Makkah. They visit a shrine in the city known as the Ka'bah, built by Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma'il (Ishmael) at the command of Allah (God). It is a place for all who want to reaffirm their faith.

Eid-ul-Adha celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah intervened: instead Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice a sheep (alternatively a goat or cow can be used), as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. They usually share out the meat with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community. In Britain, the animal has to be killed at a slaughterhouse.

Eid-ul-Adha is a 1-3 day celebration and in Muslim countries is a public holiday. It starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes, and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received. It is also a time when they visit family and friends as well as offering presents. At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.'

Now there I'm already learning cause to me I always cringed when I heard of this festival cause I always thought of the animals...and so never thought of the pleasantries and positives of it:

-celebrating the end of Hajj
-time spent with family
-giving of charity

But of course the animals are killed but that happens daily and not just by Muslims. But unlike in Britain in Trinidad animals aren't killed in slaughter houses necessarily on this festival...now you have to bear with me that I've not investigated this and you'll have to empathize with me as to why but I believe many do it in the mosques some at homes...and I'll tell you I can't walk farther in the shoes than appreciating that this festival is about people surrendering to their God...ultimate surrender and sacrifice and I get that and it is lovely. But why do they need to sacrifice the animal still? I mean God isn't still asking for a son? So why give a lamb? And good grief a cow too when your Hindu neighbours consider it in such high regard. Here lies the need of the other to walk in my shoes too please!...You can walk in shoes of another but sometimes if it is too tight your feet at some point will get sore and you will have to take it off less you bleed...And I've experienced many a taunt and a tease by not only Muslims but many of all faiths and belief who do not have the idea of empathy and of walking in the shoes of the other... Many revel and taunt about the various animal flesh they consume not considering...without empathy...but even in those shoes I must have walked some day...

Now on to the Gita Jayanthi where I will have to admit my heart sings and my feet dance even without the shoes that I just took off and even with bleeding feet I dance. Here is a summary of the Hindu festival as outlined on the site AryaBhatt Festivals of India section:
Celebration : The Birth of Bhagwad Gita
Known for : The Sacred Scripture
Religion : Hindu
In the month of : December - January
THE GITA Jayanthi or the birthday of the Bhagavad-Gita is celebrated throughout India by all admirers and lovers of this sacred scripture on the 11th day (Ekadashi) of the bright half of the month of Margaseersha (December-January) according to the Hindu almanac. That was the day on which Sanjaya narrated the dialogue between Sri Krishna and Arjuna, to King Dhritarashtra, and thus made the glorious teachings of the Lord available to us, to all the people of the world, and for all time.
The Gita Jayanthi marks one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. Nearly six thousand years ago on that day a dazzling flash of brilliant lightning lit up the firmament of human civilization. That spiritual effulgence, that flash, was the message of the Bhagavad Gita, given by the Lord Himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Unlike ordinary dashes of lightning which die away after dashing for 'a split-second, this brilliant dash of that memorable day continued to shine through the centuries and even now illumines the path of humanity on its onward march to perfection. '

I've never celebrated this festival before but I would gladly do so as I feel as I just said above I can dance barefooted to it's song even if my feet did bleed...however I celebrate it with the understanding that we live in a multifaceted universe and indeed I'm not the one to judge what is indeed Universal Collective Prayer or who is in it! So in celebration of Gita Jayanthi I leave you with one of my favourite quotes from the Gita:

'The Humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge,see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahman, a cow, an elephant, a dog, a dog-eater (an outcaste)'-The Gita Chapter 5 verse 18.

...and in my desire to walk in the shoes of others...but quite frankly I prefer Eid-ul-Fitr to this Eid...but I'll have you know that there are even Muslim Vegetarians...I personally know a few and I leave you with this quote from The Holy Quran:

'There is not an animal on earth, nor a bird that flies on its wings - but they are communities like you.' (The Quran, 6:38)

Hmmm....maybe Universal Collective Prayer is not too far a foot? If only people would read and practice the scriptures for which they fight so hard through religion to preserve?

And I leave you tonight as we close the Universal Collective prayers with a You Tube clip as an offering of my prayers for the little ones... (Don't worry none of my vids are very graphic as I couldn't bear them myself if they were. Cause the prayers in sound seems to be currently missing from the old clip I've inserted another one...they are sad but not graphic enough to aggravate anyone I hope.) (which I've shared on this blog before:)


sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Gita?


meadysmusings said...

Nope sfauthor but thanks for the link I will check it out and thanks for reading.

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